LA Galaxy

13 February 1:17 pm

LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho is interested in one day suiting up for the U.S. National Team, but fans of the Brazilian should hold their horses before running to buy U.S. jerseys with "Juninho" on the back.

Juninho recently told the Brazilian outlet Globoesporte of his intention of suiting up for the U.S. National Team rather than his home land which recently capped his brother Ricardo Goulart. Sources close to the midfielder have told LA Galaxy Insider that this has been a long standing wish of the Brazilian, but even though the 26-year-old has lived in the United States since joining the Galaxy in 2010 and currently holds a green card -- which he obtained in the summer of 2013 -- he must still wait five years until he can apply for citizenship.

When Juninho is finally eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship, the Brazilian midfielder will be nearly 30-years old. If the process is completed quickly, Juninho could be eligible to play for the USMNT during their qualifying efforts for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. 

"I have expressed my desire to play for the US national team," Juninho told Globoesporte.com. "I think the US national team is closer than the Brazilian national team [for Juninho] because of the five years I've been there [in USA] and because of the knowledge I have of the league and the players. I've played a long time with Landon Donovan and he always opened my mind and this possibility is not too distant." 
 
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12 February 6:27 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes returned to the LA Galaxy before the team's trip to Europe loaded with confidence after his successful stint with the U.S. National Team. 

During the USMNT's annual Winter camp, Zardes made his first two appearances for the national side including an influential start during their 2-0 victory over Panama last Sunday. Following two days off after a month-long training camp, Zardes rejoined the Galaxy where he admitted that he was feeling an extra pep in his step. 

"This preseason has been wonderful for me. Just jumping in a new environment [with the USMNT]," said Zardes. "You always gain confidence the more you play, no matter what team you play on. Being with the camp helped me grow. My method is once you find rhythm try to keep it. Bring that to a new atmosphere. I’m just trying to get better and take advantage of every opportunity I get. Stay humble and level-headed. That’s how I grow."

11 February 3:10 pm

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will have an opportunity to meet with new Designated Player Steven Gerrard for the first time during the club’s trip through Europe.

The Galaxy head coach and general manager will meet with Gerrard for the first time during the Galaxy trip to Europe and also attend Liverpool’s Europa League knockout round match against Beşiktaş on Feb. 19 at Anfield. Gerrard is unlikely to suit up as he is expected to miss the next three weeks due to a hamstring injury.  

“Yes, I will meet with him,” Arena said. “We’ll just have an opportunity to talk, about our club and expectations, those types of things.”

Arena and the rest of the Galaxy brass famously signed Gerrard without a face-to-face meet as the club needed just phone conversations to secure Gerrard's signature

11 February 12:47 pm

Jair Marrufo was named the head referee for the LA Galaxy's MLS regular season opener against Chicago Fire on March 6 at StubHub Center. 

The Professional Referee Organization made the announcement official on Tuesday that El Paso, Texas native will ref the league's 2015 season opener. Marrufo will be joined by assistant referees Frank Anderson and Corey Rockwell, and fourth official Alejandro Mariscal. 

Maurrfo presided over 16 MLS regular season games in 2014 and two LA Galaxy MLS Cup Playoff games including their 5-0 victory over Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinal and their Western Conference Championship second leg match against Seattle Sounders FC. 

10 February 6:27 pm

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza has yet to play a minute for the club during their 2015 preseason preparations, and it appears that a nagging foot injury will keep him on the shelf at least through the team’s trip to Europe.

A mainstay in 2014, DeLaGarza has been hampered by a bone bruise on his left foot since the beginning of the preseason which has kept him from participating in full training this preseason. Although DeLaGarza is eager to return to action, he admits that it is best to err on the side of caution with the MLS regular season opener looming in less than a month.

“It’s best to let it rest and get ready for the season to start,” DeLaGarza said. “If I go out here now and have a misstep, I could have to start all over again so it’s about being patient and know what [I] can handle right now.

“Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as we first thought so I’m happy to miss a couple weeks rather than a couple of months. “

The Galaxy defender told reporters on Tuesday that he will be part of the team’s traveling party, but he admits that he is unlikely to suit up in either of the club’s two games in Europe.

“If it gets better and I can take a pass and trap with no pain or kick the ball with no pain then I’d play,” he said. “There’s no time table. You never know with these types of things. It just takes time."

ARENA: EUROPEAN TRAVEL ROSTER NOT YET FINALIZED

The Galaxy depart for an 11-day, two game European trip on Wednesday, but LA head coach Bruce Arena has yet to decide which of his trialists will join the club in Europe.

LA currently have five players not under contract in camp (draft picks Ignacio Maganto and Daniel Keller as well as preseason invitees Andre Auras, Edson Buddle and Ramon Martin Del Campo) who have each logged minutes during the club’s preseason slate. When asked of their status after training on Tuesday, Arena shed light on the travel situation of only one of his four trialists. 

“I haven’t finalized our travel roster,” Arena said. “But Buddle is going.”

RYO FUJII SPEAKS ON NEW LA GALAXY II DEAL

LA Galaxy II bolstered their squad on Tuesday with the signing of LA Galaxy Academy product Ryo Fujii.

The 18-year-old midfielder spent 2014 with U.C. Santa Barbara where he made 19 appearances tallying two assists in his first and only season with the Gauchos. In addition to signing a deal with Galaxy II, the Galaxy will also provide the midfielder with the resources to continue his education at neighboring Cal-State Dominguez Hills.

“It’s a big step for me because as such a young age, I have the opportunity to play at a professional club,” Fujii told LA Galaxy Insider on Tuesday. “It’s my dream to become a professional soccer player, but I want to be more than that. It’s a big step for me in general.”  

Fujii joins forward Jaime Villarreal and goalkeeper Eric Lopez as one of three Academy products who have signed directly with Los Dos

10 February 5:08 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy Academy Under-18's will participate in the Dallas Cup Gordon Jago Super Group for a third consecutive year, the Academy announced on Twitter on Tuesday. 

LA participated in the Super Group during both the 2013 and 2014 campaigns with such players as Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean, Bradford Jamieson IV, Raul Mendiola, and Oscar Sorto taking part. Representatives with Dallas Cup and the LA Galaxy confirmed the tweets validity. 

This year, the Galaxy will join two Brazilian clubs (Coritiba and Corinthians), a pair of Liga MX sides (Monterrey and Tigres UNAL), English Premier League side Everton, and Argentine giants River Plate. 

10 February 3:07 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Bradford Jamieson IV and the U.S. Under-20’s learned their opponents for this summer’s U-20 World Cup in New Zealand late Monday night.

The U.S. was drawn into Group A alongside hosts New Zealand as well as Myanmar and Ukraine. Tab Ramos’ squad will open the tournament against Myanmar in Whangarei on May 30 before facing the Kiwis on June 2 in Auckland. They'll end the group stage just three days later against Ukraine.

“It was a good draw for us,” Jamieson told LA Galaxy Insider on Tuesday. “We’re going to be playing against the hosts so obviously it’ll be a good game with a great turnout. We know that no team can be taken lightly and if we are considered the favorites then we have to prove everyone right and top the group.”

Heading into a tournament as favorites is nothing new for the U.S. U-20’s as they entered into the 2015 U-20 CONCACAF Championship as top favorites to not only advance but win the group. However, the competition hardly went according to plan as the U.S. needed to defeat El Salvador in a playoff match to lock down a World Cup berth.

According to Jamieson that experience should aid the U.S. side as they look to make a name for themselves in New Zealand.

“[That tournament] just goes to show that anything can happen in these tournaments,” said Jamieson who scored two goals in six appearances at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. “Those teams came from smaller countries like some of the teams in our World Cup group so they’re coming to prove themselves. It’ll be a place where our players can showcase our talents to the world.”

Soon after returning from Jamaica, the 18-year-old quickly put himself in the conversation for the Galaxy’s left midfield role with strong shift against Seattle Sounders FC in a preseason scrimmage. But despite his recent success, Jamieson understands that there is still plenty of work to be done before he locks down a spot on Ramos’ final roster for New Zealand.

“My mentality has to be on point and my physicality has to be as close to 100 percent as possible,” said Jamieson. “I just need to keep working hard and stick to what I know and do what I’ve been doing to get to where I am now.

“It gives me confidence that Bruce has been giving me time in the [left midfield position] because obviously I want to continue to prove them right and give back to the team and the club. I just want to keep working so that I can solidify my spot in that position.”

09 February 9:27 pm

Bradford Jamieson IV and the rest of the U.S. Under-20's are smiling on Monday after the U.S. youth side was drawn a favorable draw at this summer's U-20 World Cup. 

The U.S. U-20's were drawn into Group A alongside host nation New Zealand, Myanmar and Ukraine. Tab Ramos' squad will open the tournament against Myanmar in Whangarei on May 30 before facing the Kiwis on June 2 in Auckland. They'll wrap up the group stage just three days later against Ukraine. 

While the Americans were left celebrating their group, their arch rivals Mexico were likely frustrated as they were drawn into Group D along with Uruguay, Serbia and an African nation yet to be decided. 

The complete list of groups are below. 

09 February 4:33 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes made American soccer fans take notice with a stellar performance in the United States' 2-0 victory over Panama on Sunday, but LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena preached caution when discussing his showing a day later. 

Zardes shined against Panama with an assist across in 90 minutes in front of his home crowd leading to considerable praise across the nation's soccer media and stars like Michael Bradley. Although many were abuzz with Zardes' showing throughout the USMNT winter camp, Arena took a far more measured approach when discussing his speedster's success on Sunday. 

"He had one of the better games, but I think that you have to look at things in the big picture and you can't be too hasty in your judgments on players in a game like that. The game was not of high quality. The one concern is who didn't play well as opposed to who did play well," said Arena. "You don't use a January camp or a game against Panama to see where everyone is at. You wait until you play some quality teams. 

"You have to be smart not to get caught in the [hype]. You say to the player, 'good game and now we'll see where you stand when we play some better teams.'" added Bruce. "I'm not surprised how he played... However, I'm pretty sure that he is not walking on water yet. Now we'll hear all of that for awhile." 

07 February 5:16 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers excelled with the LA Galaxy as a left back last season, but during Friday’s 2-1 scrimmage victory over Seattle Sounders FC, he showcased his versatility.

Rogers started and went 45 minutes at right back while Todd Dunivant started along the left side. The switch allowed Dunivant to slide into his natural position while Rogers—who is naturally right footed—was slide into a new place along the back four.

"That's an option and obviously we're in preseason, we'll look at all options,” Arena told reporters of the outside back switch. “As we experienced last year during the season, we have to have players prepared to play a number of spots along the back line and that's a good exercise for us to get in today.”

Added Rogers, “I can play on both sides wherever Bruce needs me. It is a little different in terms of finding the space on the field so I have to get used to that, but it comes pretty quickly.

For Dunivant, Rogers’ move to the flank could be his path back into the starting lineup after an injury-riddled 2014 season.

“It is still the preseason so we’re still trying to figure out what combination works. It’s all about getting better,” he said. “I need to earn the spot in training and continue to learn every day and get better. I’ll let the cards fall where they may and I think if I’m healthy and Robbie is healthy then we’ll both be on the field one way or the other.”

Decisions on trialists upcoming

The LA Galaxy will likely have a decision on whether they will keep trialists Andre Auras, Edson Buddle and Ramon Martin Del Campo with the club prior to the trip to Europe.

In an interview with reporters earlier this week, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that a decision was a possibility before the team departs for the Republic of Ireland at the end of the week.

Draft picks Ignacio Maganto and Daniel Keller are expected to travel to Europe while injured goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton will not join the team until they return from Europe. Meanwhile, defender Daniel Steres who had been training with the club since the start of the season has been dealing with a calf injury.

A.J. DeLaGarza may return to practice next week

Right back A.J. DeLaGarza has yet to suit up for the Galaxy in a scrimmage during the preseason due to a leg injury, but head coach Bruce Arena assured reporters earlier this week that he'll be back in practice before the team departs for Europe.

"It's possible that he'll be training next week," Arena told reporters after the club's 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC. "We're not sure yet at this point."